Internal Nintendo Memo Instructs Customer Service to Fix ‘Joy-Con Drift’ for Free

Nintendo’s got a problem on its hands. It’s called “Joy-Con Drift,” an issue where the analog sticks on the Switch’s detachable controllers, called Joy-Cons, begin moving things on the screen on their own. Following the huge response to a report by Kotaku, it’s become enough of an issue that Nintendo recently told customer service representatives the company will no longer charge customers seeking Joy-Con repairs, and refund those who’ve already paid, according to internal Nintendo documentation seen by VICE Games.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Oh thank god. I have had one drifting for a couple months now and I’ve been meaning to send it in. I’m still under warranty anyways, but these controllers are just cheap and flimsy on a fundamental level, and it’s good they are on the hook at least a little


Just last night I ALMOST bought the budget Hori left joycon with the squishy dpad to use while waiting for a replacement joycon analog stick to get here from china (a 2 month wait).

Now I’m out $8 on the analog, but at least I’m gonna be able to get my joycon fixed for free and don’t have to suffer through the terrifying process of replacing it myself.

I have a day one Switch that slowly developed drift over the course of the first year. At first I thought it was my imagination but eventually characters would just walk left when I let the joystick go. I called Nintendo but since I was out of warranty they said I could pay $40 to have it replaced/fixed. Joycon sets sell for $70 so I just bought a new pair, figuring I’d have at least half the old set for multiplayer. I’m over two years out from purchase date but if they aren’t asking for warranty info now I’d still like my original Joycons replaced??? I feel like I’ve given them so much money it can’t be that big of an ask, right? I’m also constantly worried that my current Joycons will also start to drift so having a backup in standby would be an immense peace of mind. I know that’s a bit irrational but it doesn’t change the fact that it would put me at ease when I’m pushing down on the left joystick to make a character run or vigorously slamming it left and right to avoid a dragon’s mouth.


If you havin Joycon problems, I feel bad for you son. I got 99 problems but a Switch ain’t one.


Oh amazing, I can get the joycon that I already got fixed once fixed for a second time and not have to pay forty more bucks for it.


Thank you Nintendo. Only took two full years.

(For real, thank you Gita and Kotaku for actually diving in and investigating this)


Rad, real awesome work by Patrick and major props to Gita and Kotaku as well.

Hope this means that absurd lawsuit gets tossed and Nintendo doesn’t settle it.


A) It is not your fault that they were faulty.
B) Even out of warranty, it’s Nintendo’s fault they were faulty.
C) Even though you have a pair that work just fine, you are still out the money for the second pair you would not have bought if they were not faulty.
D) Nintendo profited from the second pair you bought that you wouldn’t have bought if your first pair didn’t break.

It’s not only not a big ask, but it’s honestly the least Nintendo can do.

I assume you know this because it’s in the article, but just for those who don’t: Nintendo is refunding any money spent in the past for customers to get their joycons fixed due to drift.

Even with that being the case, the snark over it being two years of this is warranted.

I don’t think there is anything absurd with a corporation being held accountable legally for shipping faulty products.


The complaint filed goes well beyond any sort of reasonable products liability claim in terms of what it argues. I agree that corporations should be held accountable but I do not think the suit filed was gonna be the one to accomplish that.

Edit: for anyone curious, the complaint can be read here.

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Nice scoop Patrick
Been using contact cleaner on my drifting joycons, it works but isnt permanent. Was out of warranty when they started to malfunction. Im glad that free repair is on the table now.
I wonder how joycons nintendo will have to replace, just picturing mountains of these things.

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I really hope this policy applies to everywhere and not just the US. I have Joycon drift for at least six months now and I don’t have the money to replace them.

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I hope the new versions of the Switch coming this year will have fixed this problem, but I’m not expecting it.

No one should ever feel bad taking advantage of instances where a corporation’s feet are held to the fire. This isn’t an earnest goodwill effort from Nintendo, it’s them realizing they had an impending PR disaster coupled with a class action lawsuit, and taking the path of least resistance.

I also bought a second pair after not being sure if my original system was under warranty, but at least I’ll have a 4-player setup after all this is done.


I experience my first bit of drift yesterday, so this is welcome news!

I was able to fix it using the “click + move the stick” trick, but I guess it’s just a matter of time now?

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Welp, it seems like I too have fallen victim to the Joy-Con drift. Grateful it’s more of an inconvenience than game ruining with Fire Emblem but it sure isn’t great. I filed a report with Nintendo Service but what have folks’ experiences been like in having joy-cons or their systems repaired? This like a four to six week process?

I’m in Canada, but it took like 2 weeks and they covered shipping.

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Well that sounds cool! Now I just need them to respond to my email.

wrll I got my joycon repair ticket, and shipped my joycon to Nintendo. I got the confirmation that they got the package yesterday, and tonight they sent me an email saying they are shipping my components back to me. So uh, maybe my joycon is fixed? Hooray? (Of course the email didn’t actually say “we repaired your shit” so I’m nervous)

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I got the same email a week ago and my joycon came back with paperwork showing they’d fixed it. I was honestly surprised at how quick the process was.

Of course, now my right joycon has started drifting…

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Glad it went quick for y’all. I sent mine in a week ago and have been told due to the increased number of joy-cons sent in, it could take as long as three to seven weeks to repair. I am grateful for the free repair but a lil bummed at the potential wait.